Psoriatic Arthritis Is Not For The Faint At Heart
I have had psoriasis for decades but didn’t anticipate the PsA side of things.
I have been using creams since the beginning of time and trying to avoid certain foods like dairy and poultry. I've been able to handle my plaque psoriasis well with a lot of help from my family, and my psoriatic support group. I did my research, so I knew kind of what to expect from this, but there were some things I didn't see coming.
Did my mother's advice translate to my psoriatic arthritis?
Getting the stares, horrible comments, and a smaller circle of friends did not prevent me from growing academically and socially. My mother constantly reminded me that people's opinions about me did not matter and that I was beautiful regardless of what people thought of me.
I wish I could utilize her words of encouragement to help me deal with psoriatic arthritis now. There are some days when the agony I'm experiencing is unreal. I thought I was prepared for anything, but I didn’t see this coming and it’s not what I expected.
How have my experiences become harder?
More recently, I have had some really bad experiences with PsA now that I'm in my late 60s. I am a caregiver to my father who is almost 90. It has dawned on me that I am starting to miss peace. My health is continuously changing; one minute I will be okay, and the next I'm in agony.
There are days that PsA feels like a big weight pressing down on each of my joints that is limiting my ability to move as freely as I used to. This is causing constant pain, tremendous weariness, and swollen joints. Unfortunately, this illness has taken away my social life. However, the most heartbreaking part of this is that there are days my father has to help me. I am supposed to be giving him my constant attention.
What has become challenging for me to do?
Just the other day, I was having a difficult time holding him up. My wrist wouldn’t allow me to due to terrible discomfort and I had immense agony in my knees. How am I supposed to be his caregiver if I can’t even hold a toothbrush in my hand?
Just climbing stairs is getting to be a chore for me, and holding a pen to write, especially early in the morning, was difficult because of severe discomfort in my fingers. It’s hard to even scramble an egg.
How does this flare compare to others?
I make the most of my few healthy days. Just a few months ago I was practically disabled and could only use a wheelchair since my knees couldn't carry me. This is the worst flare I have had in 20 years. I'm now able to resume my daily chores thanks to extensive counseling and a new medication. Thank goodness I am able to help my father more.
How do I spend my healthy days?
Psoriatic arthritis might make you feel hopeless on some days. I am 65 now so I appreciate and enjoy the happy and healthy days that I get to enjoy. I have no idea what tomorrow is going to bring. When I'm healthy, I make the most of my time each and every day with my father. We are all in this together.
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